Thing 11: Mapping & Geolocation Tools

I did it again! There are so many great tools that I constantly seem to overwhelm myself. Rather than scan the list in our “thing” and identify what I could immediately use I start at the top and try to do everything. I then overwhelm myself and spend a lot of time reading and taking notes on.  I am vowing to turn over a new leaf…after this thing 🙂 and make my time at the computer more productive.

“Don’t just read about it….do it!” Is my current mantra.

That said, here’s my experience with Thing 11:

Google Maps

I really love the new features in Google maps. While I played around with it for a while I want to make sure that this will work on our older computers at school before I propose this as a project idea for a teacher. I found Google Earth for Educators  especially helpful with its various tutorials and lesson ideas. Even if this does not directly correlate to the new Google Maps it will be helpful and useful. (I wrote this paragraph before my new mantra took effect)

QR Codes

As always, I could have spent an amazing amount of time with Gwenyth Jones. I can see adapting my orientation scavenger hunt to be more like the incorporating QR codes into library orientation lessons.  Love it! But since my new mantra is “Don’t just read about it…do it!” I gave it a try in a way I feel could be immediately useful. Booktalks.

I love giving booktalks. Of course, I haven’t read all the books in the library so I am going to add QR codes linking to book trailers to some of the books in the library. My vision is that when the students will come in for a book talk I will have the books displayed around the library with their QR codes in the back. Using an iPad the students will be able to travel around the room scanning books that are of interest to them. I am going to add a step to the book trailers project I do with 6th grade students and have them produce and include the QR codes in the books they have created booktrailers for.

Here are the steps I used to create my QR Code.

See the QR code post by Gwyneth Jones for more details.:
  1. I first located an appropriate booktrailer video and copied the URL.
  2. I used Bitly to shorten the URL. There is no log on required so students could easily use this site.
  3. I used Kaywa to create the QR code. Reading the fine print it looks like I only get 5 free codes. I was able to log on with my school Google email so students could use their school emails to sign on to get the QR codes.
  4. I copied the QR code to Word and added text to say “Scan for more information”. I would like to do this in stickers that I can easily apply to the back of the book but will have to be sure to include the title of the book on the sticker.
  5. Printed it out, applied it to the back of the book.

I then scanned it with my phone and watched the video pop-up. Very exciting! I just found one problem. I used a YouTube video and our students can’t access YouTube. Oops. 🙂

I can’t wait to launch this project with students. If any of you have experience with this I would love feedback and tips to make it go more smoothly.


About Kim Nemeth

Hello and welcome to my blog. I am a High School Library Media Specialist in beautiful Saratoga Springs New York. I am an avid reader and am addicted to learning. This blog was originally started as part of the Cool Tools for Schools project in 2012. Since then I have continued to participate in Cool Tools for Schools and add my thoughts here. I found this blog to be an excellent place to refer to when I needed an idea or had a tick mark in my head and needed a reminder. I would love comments and feedback on my posts. Enjoy!
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One Response to Thing 11: Mapping & Geolocation Tools

  1. Wow, you did a lot! Sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to commenting. I like your new mantra, I’m like you, I want to read it all and try it all. And I drive myself nuts. 🙂 I’ll try to adopt your mantra too. Let us know how the QR codes work with the students!

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